Jacob Kauffman

Reporter / Anchor

Jacob Kauffman is a reporter for KUAR. During the legislative session, he wrote the online column Capitol Access. He has worked with the Arkansas Legislative Digest and is currently on the board of the MacArthur Military History Museum. 

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Local & Regional News
2:57 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Shelters Set Up For Residents After Tornado Damage

Credit redcross.org

For hundreds of residents the repercussions of Monday’s storm damage are still being contemplated as they use food, blankets, and cots provided by the Red Cross. Brigette Williams with Arkansas’s chapter of the Red Cross said six shelters are being used in Mayflower, Conway, and Vilonia.

She said they are continuing to take in those affected by the tornados, which has included a number of children.

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Local & Regional News
4:07 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Petitions To Regulate Hog Farms On The Buffalo River Advance

Buffalo River
Credit thecitywire.com

Opponents of industrial hog farms near the Buffalo National River made some headway Friday.

The Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission granted two separate petitions seeking to initiate a rule making process to further circumscribe limits to concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, operating near the Buffalo River. 

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Local & Regional News
5:51 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Private Option Cost Slightly Exceeding Projections; Officials Say Cost Will Decrease

DHS Director John Selig, Director Division of Medical Services Andy Allison.
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

State health officials provided legislators with information Thursday on the cost of the private option which is exceeding projections by $24 a month per-person. Steven Schramm, with the actuarial firm Optimus worked with the Department of Human Services on private option figures.

Schramm said the population of the private option has been two years older than projected and argued the $24 more a month per-person will come down in the future.

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Local & Regional News
4:58 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Judge Strikes Down Arkansas Voter ID Law

File photo of a sign outside a Little Rock polling site in March advising voters to have a photo ID.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas’s 2013 Voter ID law was struck down Thursday by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox. The suit brought by the Pulaski County Election Commission only challenged one provision of the law but Judge Fox’s ruling went beyond the initial scope of the challenge by striking down the entirety of the act. Pulaski County Commissioner Chris Burks says he expected the ruling might go beyond the scope of the complaint.

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Local & Regional News
11:13 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Senator John Boozman Recovering From Emergency Heart Surgery

File photo of Sen. John Boozman

Senator John Boozman underwent emergency heart surgery Tuesday in Rogers.

Many of the details are still unknown but Boozman’s spokesman Patrick Creamer said it appears things are going smoothly.

“Doctors have been very pleased with the way he’s responded to the surgery thus far. They’re supposed to let us know at the time of completion and we’ll have a full statement from the family,” said Creamer.

Creamer said the 63-year-old senator’s surgery lasted well over two hours.

Boozman had a full day of public appearances scheduled.

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Local & Regional News
1:52 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Government Grant Program Marks 40th Anniversary

Gov. Mike Beebe and Mulberry Mayor Gary Baxter
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

State officials and beneficiaries marked 40 years of statewide government investment through the Community Development Block Grant on Monday. The federal program uses funds to improve conditions and opportunities for people with low and moderate incomes. 

The state also has discretion over some funds and has spent over $700 million on economic development, museums, and social services like shelters. Raymond Chung works with an edamame company that built a processing facility in the northwest Arkansas town of Mulberry. He praised the state’s capacity to spur development.

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Local & Regional News
2:29 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Arkansas's Unemployment Rate Improves to 2009 Level

Arkansas and US Unemployment Rates
Credit http://www.arkansaseconomist.com/

The latest jobs report shows another of month of positive trends in Arkansas. Figures released Friday by the Department of Workforce Services report the state’s unemployment rate dropping from 7.1 percent to 6.9 percent.

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Local & Regional News
6:37 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Report Shows Racial Disparities in Employment for Arkansans

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families

State unemployment rates are above the national average and African-Americans are experiencing joblessness at nearly three times the rate of whites according to a report released Thursday. Six percent of white residents in Arkansas are unemployed while 16 percent of African-Americans are jobless. The current overall state unemployment rate is 8 percent.

Senior Policy Analyst Eleanor Wheeler said the effect is not limited only to the welfare of individual families.

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Local & Regional News
6:28 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Arkansas's Same Sex Marriage Ban Awaits Its Ruling

Plaintiffs Kendall Wright and Julia Wright
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

A decision on whether or not Arkansas’s 2004 ban on same-sex marriage will be re-affirmed or lifted is still being weighed after litigators presented nearly three hours of arguments Thursday. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza said he will have a written judgment within two weeks.

Speaking afterward, Jack Wagnor, an attorney for the plaintiffs, framed the court’s future decision in the context of similar litigation nationally.

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Local & Regional News
4:52 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

ACLU of Arkansas Files Suit Against Voter ID Law

ACLU's Rita Sklar (stock photo)
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

The state’s 2013 voter ID law is being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas and the Arkansas Public Law Center. The lawsuit argues the act presents an unconstitutional barrier to voting.

ACLU’s Executive Director Rita Sklar said the law targets populations with poor access to resources.

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